SDCC 2012 — Supernatural News Roundup

Supernatural SDCC Panel with Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins

Some teasing bits of information about the next season of Supernatural came out of the San Diego Comic Con this month. During the panel the writers and actors were all tight-lipped about most of the upcoming eighth season, though on the actors’ parts that could be blamed on not having the scripts yet. But what we did get reveals some new changes for the Winchester brothers.

Sam Winchester alone in Leviathan lair

Sam, alone, in the Leviathans’ lair at the end of the seventh season finale

Season Seven ended with Dean (Jensen Ackles) and the angel Castiel (Misha Collins) trapped in purgatory while Sam (Jared Padalecki) was suddenly left alone on Earth. But apparently the new season won’t be picking up right where the last one left off. The producers say that there will be a time jump, though they didn’t say how much time will have passed between the two seasons. The longest time jump they’ve done between seasons so far was a year between seasons five and six, during which time Dean thought that Sam was dead and he tried to live a normal life with his past love, Lisa. It sounds like Sam will be in the exact same situation this year. After finding himself alone on Earth, he’ll leave hunting and try to be normal. He will even have a love interest, Amelia (Liane Balaban), but she’ll be shown through flashbacks, at least at first, because they won’t be together anymore when the season starts.

Dean’s release from purgatory will happen very quickly at the beginning of the season and his time there will also be revealed in flashbacks over the course of the season. All these flashbacks make me wonder how much of the season will actually occur in real time. Reportedly, during their time apart Sam and Dean will have formed new relationships that will continue to affect their lives over the course of the season. As for Dean, show runner Jeremy Carver said that “purgatory makes strange bedfellows,” probably alluding to the fact that Dean will team up with one of purgatory’s denizens in order to get out, but his new “friend” apparently won’t be going away once they’re free. According to TVLine, Dean’s savior from purgatory will be a vampire named Benny, played by Ty Olsson. Another interesting tidbit is that this season the brothers will have more development as individuals. Writer and Producer Ben Edlund said, “They’re kind of emotional shut-ins that have to learn to deal with other people. … We’re trying to get into more complex, real human relationships.”

As for Castiel and Bobby (Jim Beaver), very little was mentioned. During the panel, Misha Collins pleaded the fifth about when Castiel would return, but in the press room afterwards he said that Castiel will be back in flashback form in the second episode and supposedly he will be more like the old Cas instead of the crazy broken angel the season ended with. Jim Beaver, whenever asked if Bobby will be back on the show despite dying (twice) in the previous season, only replied “Anything’s possible.” Considering the fact that he’s died a few times already, Bobby coming back again isn’t out of the question in my opinion and I imagine many fans, myself included, would welcome his return.

Plot-wise, there were two themes of the new season mentioned: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “This Time It’s Personal.” Crowley (Mark Sheppard) is going to be back and searching for the same thing as Sam and Dean, something that ties in with the mythology of the show and is very near and dear to their hearts. The writers described it as game-changing and something that has been hinted at before. Edlund said that Sam, Dean, Crowley, and young prophet Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) are all going to be “involved in a chase for a power source, ultimately.” Because they’re going after the same thing, Sam and Dean’s relationship with Crowley is going to become more antagonistic. Carver said that they’re going to be pulling back from the heavy mythology of the show and opening it up to other areas, a new mythology that he hopes could continue on for more seasons. For a show that has already continued on for three seasons after its intended end, it seems that it’s as hard to kill as its beloved characters.

Supernatural will be moving to Wednesdays this fall on the CW, returning October 3.